Egg (Oocyte) Donation Program
Egg (Oocyte) Donation Program in New York, NY
The Center for Human Reproduction's (CHR) New York, NY Oocyte Donation Program is probably the largest in the U.S., performing hundreds of donor's cycles every year. Our program is unique because of its large pool of carefully selected egg donors. If you are interested in seeing how we select our donors, visit the web-based application process for oocyte donors. There is a very detailed questionnaire, which represents the screening phase of the application. Only approximately half of the candidates who apply are invited for an in-person interview with one of our oocyte evaluation program coordinators. This first interview usually eliminates another 10-20% of candidates before the remaining potential donor's face yet another interview with one of our physicians. This is followed by medical testing which includes infectious disease, genetic and drug abuse testing. Only once a candidate has cleared all of these steps is she considered a donor, ready to be matched to a recipient. Approximately 20-25% of initial applicants are finally matched to a recipient couple.
Norbert Gleicher explains CHR's egg donation process.
Most of our oocyte donation cycles involve anonymous donations. This assures that donor and recipients do not know each others' identity. Recipients do, however, know every last detail of the donor's medical, genetic and family history, her social and educational background and her psychological make-up, inclusive of her motivations to donate, and details of her appearance. Recipients can see donors' photos and sometimes short videos by becoming a member in our oocyte donor database system, as well as in our office. Donors and recipient couples are mandated to sign standard CHR consent forms, which will assure the respective rights of both parties.
Recipient couples can view our oocyte donors' profiles and fill out an egg donors wish list. Of course, no donor is ever a perfect fit. But our large donor pool allows us to come very close most of the time.
Once we receive the egg donors wish list from the recipient couple and an initial consultation with our physician determines that oocyte donation is indeed the right treatment for a specific couple, we usually can match a well-fitting donor within days. This potential donor's more detailed characteristics are then presented to the recipient couple and they have the right to approve or disapprove. If they approve of the donor, we usually are in a donor's cycle within a few days to weeks. If they disapprove, the match is repeated until they approve of a donor.
CHR also helps couples with open oocyte donations. Here, donors and recipient couples are known to each other. Most cases of open (non-anonymous) donations involve family members or friends. However, we still require that the potential donors undergo the routine screening process, including FDA-mandated testing, and qualify under CHR criteria to be an oocyte donor.
The financial risk of any adverse outcome happening to the donor, as small as it may be, usually lies with the recipient couple. As a routine commitment to the Egg Donation Program, CHR requires recipient couples to buy, in conjunction with each donation cycle, an insurance policy for the donor, which secures medical and third party insurance risks, without breach of confidentiality.
Because we are very concerned about high order multiple births, we strongly recommend in oocyte donation cycles, where most donors are very young, that only one to three embryos be transferred. Nevertheless, we have outstanding pregnancy rates in these cycles, exceeding 50%. Most oocyte donation cycles, especially in a single donor/recipient match, will result in additional embryos for cryopreservagion (freezing). They offer significant opportunity for additional pregnancies later.
CHR has no age limit for recipients, although CHR mandates a very detailed medical and psychological screening process for women above age 45 who wish to enter the program.
Our oocyte donation process has an international following, with couples from Europe, the Middle East, China, the rest of Asia and South America routinely visiting our New York office. We closely cooperate with physicians in many countries in preparing recipient couples for egg donation cycles, thus keeping the time they have to spend in the U.S. to a minimum. (For more information on logistics of long-distance fertility care, please click here.)
Last Updated: February 24, 2012